It has been just about a year since the Grandview Woodland Community Plan was bludgeoned through City Council by the developer-financed Vision Vancouver majority. The history of that Plan was a long and sorry one, involving as it did a massively engineered lack of consultation and consent from the residents, that has been told in some detail on this blog and elsewhere. But that is history and now we are obliged to deal with the aftermath and protect as much of our grand neighbourhood as we can.
The Community Plan states that “[c]hange must be integrated, gradual, and sustainable and be responsive to the needs of local and city residents.” [page 6]. It goes on to say that “[t]his community strives to be a place where people of all socio-economic levels can live.” [page 7]. After a full year post-Plan we can look at the real estate listings for Grandview for this week, noting prices and — importantly — the reasons given by the real estate agents for those prices, and see how they match up to the Community Values expressed in the Plan.
- 1912 E. 8th, $3,599,000: Less than two years ago, this property sold for what was already considered a premium price of $1,940,000. Now the price has almost doubled because, as the realtor delights in telling us: it “falls under new Transition Zoning in Grandview Plan. New Zoning will allow up to 1.2 FSR 3.5 storey Rowhouses.”
- 2325, 2337, 2349, 2371 and 2387 E. Pender: almost an entire block, 5 properties at $2,400,000 each: Priced for “[l]and assembly … The Grandview-Woodland OCP has this land being rezoned for multifamily development… this land development is a can’t miss! “
- 2037, 2043, 2055, 2061. and 2077 E. Broadway, 5 properties at $3,000,000 each: Part of “land assembly.”
There is more land assembly taking place along East 1st, East 2nd, and East 8th Avenues:
- 2256 E. 1st, $2,280,000: “Townhouse development opportunity with Grandview – Woodland Community Plan. There is 6 Lot assembly potential.“
- 2226 E. 1st, $2,150,000: “Townhouse development opportunity in the heart of Grandview Woodland. Large lots in a great location. New community plan calls for 1.3 FSR courtyard rowhouses.”
- 1921 E. 2nd, $3,689,000, 1937 and 1948 E. 2nd: $3,200,000 each: “3 adjoining lots with a combined size of 142×122 (all measurements approximate) … This property is located within the Grandview Woodland Community Plan. This is an excellent Development Site.“
- 1968 E. 8th, $2,398,000: “Land assembly potential, this property falls into the New Zoning approved by The City Hall for Row Townhouses with 3.5 storeys and 1.2 FSR.”
Other sites are also being targeted:
- 2141 E. Broadway, $2,450,000: “is great holding property as it is in the Grandview-Woodland community re-development plan for potential multi-family zoning … Potential lots assembly.”
- 2285 Charles, $1,588,000: “This 33 x 122 foot lot is going to have it’s zoning changed from RS-7 to the new RT 5 duplex zoning allowing 75% SFR. This zoning change is going to council September 21st 2017 to be rubber stamped.“
- 1517 Frances, $2,188,000: “Attention Developers and investors! RM4 zoning investment opportunity! … perfect for holding this property until future high-density development opportunities… RM4 zoning permits Duplex – Fourplex developments on its own and likely higher density rezoning possible with assembly. Adjacent to existing apartment building also ripe for teardown.”
There are bound to be others: I found these in a quick 20-minute search last night. It is important to note that none of these are dilapidated ancient wrecks. Most are perfectly decent habitable houses built between the 1950s and 1970s. And in each and every case, the cause of the price inflation is clearly stated — by the realtor, not some wild-eyed activist — as the Community Plan.
With land prices this high, there is simply no way truly affordable housing can be the result. So far, at least, the Community Values proudly expressed with the Community Plan are being honoured only by their absence. Many of us assumed that would be the case; we are now beginning to see the evidence.
The smog-laden tangerine fog
tinted by a million lamplights
lays heavy tonight;
the busy rustle of the city’s moves
lost in its depths
like the delicate harmonies of a dulcimer
played in the attic as heard in the basement.
Closer, much closer, I hear
the lazy rustle of the scorpion
picking carelessly at a pecan shell.
I blink in the orange darkness.